Day 80 – Lima Tour I – August 9th, 2015

Callao/Lima, Peru – 07:00 to 23:59

Today’s tour titled, “Pachacamac Ruins and Peruvian Prancing Horses”, included a visit to the National Museum of Archaeology, the Pachacamac Ruins and Hacienda Mamacona for a horse show followed by a buffet lunch. A full 8-hour day, with the highlight for Judi being similar to Iceland – the horses. Enroute to the Hacienda our guide even mentioned he could possibly arrange for a ride on a horse, which would have been Judi’s highlight of the cruise.

Shortly after 08:00 we were on the bus and heading out the port. Our guide explained that Lima is a collection of 43 individual cities, each with their own mayor and council, with the larger Lima also having a higher level of government. Callao, the port for Lima is one of the 43 individual cities. The current population of Lima is about 10 million, with the population rapidly increasing as people from the country flock into the city.

Outside the port gates it was a desolate, dark and dingy area of run down homes and warehouse type area. We headed inland on a fairly major road that transitioned into more of a retail/commercial shopping area, as seen below.

Lima main commercial district enroute to museum

Retail/commercial area a short drive inland from the port.

I noticed that many major intersections have traffic lights with count down clocks. When the lights turn green the count down is green, with the lights turning red when it reaches zero. At that time the count down clock starts again, but changes to red numbers.

Traffic lights have count down clocks for both green and red lights

Traffic lights with count down clock.

Turning off the major highway we entered a more residential area, with a surprising amount of low rise housing, although the homes are all row houses. Some serious security measures were common place with shutters, bars, spiked fences, barbed wire and seriously strong doors very common.

Lima mixture of high rise and low buildings on tree lined street

Compared to areas seen later the above photograph is one of the more affluent areas of the city.

Typical housing close to the museum

This is typical housing in the vicinity of the museum. Unfortunately, I have to compress the files with loss of detail, but each window in these homes is covered by bars and the doors are solid wood or steel and some even covered by bars. The structures rising from the roofs are separate homes, with some houses having up to 4 or even 6 almost single person rooms, as mentioned by our guide.

Municipal hall for city that is home to the museum

Located opposite the National Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the yellow building is the Municipal Offices for Pueblo Libre, the local town. From the outside it appears considerably less opulent than equivalent towns in Metro Vancouver.

National Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Our first stop on today’s tour. Founded in 1826, as the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru, this is Peru’s oldest state museum. The museum owns well over 100,000 perfectly preserved or restored artefacts, with many of them on display.The collection dates from the colonial period back to about 12,000BC and includes ceramics, metals, textiles, organic materials and lithics. The museum is housed in an old mansion and tells of Peru’s history from the earliest civilisation dating back to 14,000 BC to the post-Inca colonial period. The first display was a large wall poster depicting the names of the various civilisations throughout the years in the various locations, dating from 14,000 BC. While many have heard of the Inca’s they were very modern and short lived, as they only date from the 1400’s until the Spanish conquerors arrived in the 1500’s.

Museum inner courtyard

Inside the entrance is the inner courtyard with lawn and hanging baskets. The displays are located in the rooms off the courtyard, with additional displays around the edge.

The first set of displays depicted the progression of the local civilisation. The first display depicted them moving into caves for shelter, with basic tools and weapons made from stone.

Museum display depicting the eveloution into living in caves

Earliest civilisations living in caves.

Museum evolution further with fire used for cooking meats

The second display showing the evolution of fire and cooking meats.

Museum some of the earliest ceramics from 2000 BC to 800 BC

A ceramics display, dating from between 2,000 BC and 800 BC.

Museum Lanzon carved stone

Lanzon carved stone Obelisk

The museum has an extensive collection of over 32,000 textiles, consisting of entire pieces down to just fragments. While all civilisations are represented the Paracas collection from up to 800 BC is recognised internationally as the most spectacular.

Museum early Paracas textile weaving 2

A complete burial cloth from the Paracas civilisation. The dead were placed in the fetal position and wrapped in cloths before burial.

Mueum Paracas textile weaving sample

Another textile from the Paracas people, which is a short cloak depicting geomtrized serpents. This probably belonged to the village leader.

Museum sample o Paracas textile weaving

A Paracas textile with flowers.

Museum Nasca pottery piece

A piece of pottery from the Nasca people, which could be from about 200 AD to 1100 AD

Museum selection of Nasca people pottery

Display showing various pottery pieces from the Nasca people.

Museum a selection of Vicus work from 200 to 600 AD

Display of artefacts from the Vicus people possibly dating from 200 AD to 600 AD.

Museum Moche people pottery from 200 to 600 AD

Pottery from the Moche people, possibly dating from 200 AD to 600 AD.

Museum pottery example from Recuay people from 200 to 600 AD

Pottery from the Recuay people, possibly dating from 200 AD to 600 AD.

Museum mock-up of Macchu Piccho

The final room we visited was dedicated to the Inca people, which only existed from 1470 until Spanish Colonisation in 1532. Above is a display of Machu Picchu.

We spent an hour at the museum and really only received a very quick overview of some of the exhibits, although our guide was excellent, providing an almost continuous stream of information. To really see the entire museum, it will take a full day.


Departing the museum we headed to the Pachacamac Ruins, which is south of Lima and a few miles inland from the coast. While only about 40 minutes driving, in the light Sunday traffic, we passed some real extremes from high end hotels and malls to low end shanty towns. From the museum we headed to the coast, south of the port.

Pacifc Ocean surf at south Lima beach

On arriving at the coast we descended a hill which afforded some excellent views of the Pacific surf pounding ashore. The above photograph was taken at the bottom of the hill through the front window of the bus. On the inshore side of the road was a high unstable looking shale cliff, with a continuous row of high end hotels, apartments and shopping malls.

South Lima beach and statue

At the south end of the beach was the above gardens and statues, all very clean and well maintained. At this point we climbed back up the hill and started heading inland through some of the lower income areas of the city.

South Lima market district

Street market, which wrapped around and continued on the street we drove along.

South Lima homes and business by the market

Retail area approaching the poorer neighbourhood.

South Lima housing 2

Mass of houses all connected and built on top of each other.

Slums built on the hill

Low income area creeping up the hill.

The remainder of the tour will continue on a second post.

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